Nadler Remarks at Press Conference with Mayor Adams on GOP Stunt Hearing
Washington, April 17, 2023
House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler today delivered the follow remarks, as prepared, at a press conference in New York City responding the House Republicans’ stunt hearing on “violent crime in Manhattan”:
“Thank you all for coming. And I want to thank Mayor Adams and our gun violence prevention advocates for joining us here today.
“In a few minutes, the House Judiciary Committee will convene what the Chairman calls a field hearing. It may have some of the trappings of a hearing—we will have opening statements and witnesses, and the Members will ask questions. But don’t be fooled. This is not a serious exercise. This is a political stunt.
“I was the Chairman of the Committee for four years, and I took that solemn responsibility seriously. I know what a real hearing—and real oversight—looks like. That is not what we are going to see today.
“This hearing is being called for one reason, and one reason only: to protect Donald Trump.
“Jim Jordan and his Republican accomplices are acting as an extension of the Trump defense team, trying to intimidate and deter the duly elected District Attorney of Manhattan from doing the work his constituents elected him to do. They are using their public offices, and the resources of our committee, to protect their political patron, Donald Trump. That is an outrageous abuse of power. It is—to use Chairman Jordan’s favorite term—a weaponization of the Judiciary Committee.
“The Chairman says this hearing is about the victims of violent crime in Manhattan. Never mind the fact that New York is one of the safest big cities in America. Never mind that—under the leadership of Mayor Adams and Alvin Bragg—over the last year, crime in Manhattan has dropped in nearly every major category—including murders, down 14%; shootings, down 17%; burglaries, down 21%; and robberies, down 8%.
And never mind that House Republicans have voted consistently to make New York—and other cities across this country—less safe.
“Since when did my Republican colleagues become so concerned about the lives and safety of New Yorkers? Certainly not when they voted against billions of dollars in money for law enforcement in the American Rescue Plan. Certainly not when they refused to condemn Donald Trump’s call to defund the FBI and the Department of Justice. And certainly not when they worked to block Democratic efforts to pass sensible gun safety legislation.
“We all grieve for the victims of violent crime—here in Manhattan and everywhere. But if Jim Jordan and his Republican Members really cared about protecting New Yorkers, they would join Democrats in addressing the iron pipeline that floods our streets with illegal guns from states with less strict gun laws.
“They would join our efforts to ban assault weapons, to enact extreme risk protection laws, and to crack down on ghost guns. But instead, they have only worked to put more guns on the streets, and to put us all at greater risk.
“Democrats have consistently advanced policy solutions that make all of our communities—including New York—safer places to live, work, and go to school, and we will make that clear today. But that’s not why Republicans have called this hearing. This is just part of their efforts to protect Donald Trump by any means necessary.
“Alvin Bragg is the duly elected district attorney in New York County. He has brought significant evidence before a grand jury, which has seen fit to indict Donald Trump. Donald Trump will have an opportunity to defend himself against the charges. That process will now play out in the courts, and it is not the place of Congress—Republicans or Democrats—to interfere with any judicial proceeding.
“Jim Jordan engages in a lot of political theater in Washington, but he should know better than to take his tired act to Broadway. New Yorkers see through this transparent attempt to defend Donald Trump at all costs, while ignoring the real public safety needs of our community.
“Before I recognize the Mayor, I want to introduce the three outstanding advocates joining us today who will share their thoughts and stories today.
“David Pucino is the deputy chief counsel of the GIFFORDS Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence; Diane Rinaldo is a mother and advocate with Moms Demand Action; and Mark House is the principal at Bronx Technical & Arts Academy and a Brady Campaign advocate.
“Now I want to turn it over to Mayor Adams.”